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Packers: Rookie defensive backs create buzz in win over Bengals

25 September 2017

The third play of the Packers possession in overtime turned out to be the game changer.

On offence, left tackle David Bakhtiari (hamstring) and receiver Randall Cobb (chest) were inactive.

The Green Bay Packers quarterback rarely - if ever - says or does something without thinking, and that was the case Sunday with how he and his teammates handled their decision to react to President Donald J. Trump's criticism of NFL players for protesting racial inequality with exhibitions during the playing of the national anthem. In overtime, Mason Crosby nailed a 27 yard field goal to win the game.

It would be all Bengals from there until intermission. So, too, might be Geronimo Allison, who had six receptions for 122 yards, including the crucial 72-yarder that set up the game-winning field goals.

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The Packers did not do themselves any favors by falling into a 21-7 hole to the Bengals.

Aaron Rodgers is widely considered to be the best quarterback in the National Football League and many believe that he will go down as one of the best of all-time. The Packers stopped all five third-down plays after halftime. Jordy Nelson contributed 52 yards and two touchdowns in six receptions while Lance Kendricks added 52 yards and a touchdown.

The defense came out aggressively after the break and started to break through Cincinnati's protection. If the Bengals have any chance to get the offense going, it will be because Mixon and Green are the catalysts.

If Green Bay needs any further incentive, the Packers all-time record against Cincinnati is five wins and seven losses - a rarity. And then he did it again, finding Nelson in the fourth quarter for another touchdown. The Bengals' offense hit paydirt twice after not finding the end zone in its previous two contests while making 21 first downs, compared to a combined 26 in the first two weeks of the season. The Bengals have given up 20 points or fewer in eight of their last nine, including both games this season.

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Cincinnati won the coin toss, took the ball first and was promptly stopped by a revitalized Packers defense and were forced to punt.

Allison said he's feeling more comfortable in his second year, and coach Mike McCarthy said he's clearly "taken that leap from Year 1 to 2" that the Packers demand of their young players.

Bengals rookie head coach Dave Shula moved to 0-2 after the 13-9 loss to the Texans while the Packers suffered a 23-34 loss to the Falcons last week. For now, let's all exhale loudly, remind ourselves (soothingly if perhaps mistakenly) to "R-E-L-A-X" and celebrate - within reason - the Packers' dramatic and exciting and very much-needed victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, 27-24. Though he missed three games due to injury, his completion percentage was 66 percent, he had 25 touchdowns and only seven interceptions, and his passer rating was a sterling 106.2.

Andy Dalton was 21 of 27 for 212 yards and two scores.

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Ty Montgomery was the Pack's leading receiver with 8 catches but for only 15 yards. Bennett's struggles in the first three games look nearly identical to former Packers tight end Jermichael Finley.

Packers: Rookie defensive backs create buzz in win over Bengals